What Is Negligence? Definition & Examples
If we look at the numerous personal injury cases filed every year in the US, it will be clear that a large proportion of the injuries are due to negligence. When a person does not act in the way they are expected to, and another person is injured due to that, the latter is entitled to compensation from the former.
Being a rather common ground for lawsuits, it’s a good idea to be well acquainted with the concept of negligence. To help you out, we have discussed negligence and its types in detail. Read on to learn all about it.
What Is Meant By Negligence?
Generally, when we talk about negligence, we tend to define it as something like “failure to give proper care to something or someone”. But, when it comes to the law, the definition is a bit different. In legal terms, negligence can be defined as the failure to exercise the appropriate level of care towards another person, as can be expected from a reasonable person under the same circumstances.
So, the term encompasses not only the actions of the said person but also the failure to take any action. And if anyone receives injuries due to the same, they can file a lawsuit in court to claim compensation from the person at fault.
Different Types Of Negligence
Here is a brief overview of the different types of negligence recognized by courts:
- Gross Negligence
Gross negligence is when a person acts recklessly without any regard for the consequences of their action. Being the most serious type of negligence, any individual found guilty of it will be liable to pay higher compensation to the victim.
- Contributory Negligence
Contributory negligence is when it is proven that the plaintiff failed to exercise reasonable care, which in turn contributed to their own injuries. A few states in the US, including Virginia and Alabama, allow contributory negligence as a method of defense. In these states, if the defendant is able to prove that the victim (plaintiff) had even a slight responsibility for the incident that resulted in their injuries, they can avoid paying the compensation amount.
- Comparative Negligence
The approach of pure contributory negligence can be quite harsh for the plaintiff injured in an accident. Therefore, many states tend to follow the approach of comparative negligence. Here, even if the plaintiff is found to be responsible for the accident, they aren’t denied the compensation amount, but it is reduced in proportion to the percentage of their fault.
- Vicarious Negligence
This type of negligence is when someone is held liable for the negligence of another individual. It is most common in the context of employment, i.e., the employer is held to be vicariously liable for the negligent actions of an employee.
How To Prove Negligence In A Personal Injury Lawsuit?
There are several elements that your attorney needs to prove in order to successfully get you the compensation you are entitled to. Firstly, they need to prove to the court that the defendant had a duty of care towards the plaintiff, which they failed to exercise. In addition, they need to establish the fact that the actions of the defendant were the actual cause and the proximate cause for the accident that caused the injuries to the plaintiff. The attorney also needs to submit monetary evidence of the damage caused due to the injuries in order to claim compensation. While proving personal injury cases due to negligence can be difficult, hiring a reputed lawyer can simplify the task.
Got injured due to the negligence of another? A Greensboro Personal Injury Attorney can help. With profound experience in dealing with similar lawsuits, your attorney can help you build a strong case with enough evidence to get you the compensation you deserve.